This article was originally published in Government Construction (Volume 5, Issue 2 – Summer 2020), an ABA Division 13 Quarterly Newsletter. It is republished here with permission.

The United States Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (the “Board”) recently issued a decision that may be particularly pertinent in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Pernix Serka Joint Venture v. Department of State,1 the Board rejected a contractor’s claim for additional costs related to demobilization and remobilization of the job site in Freetown, Sierra Leone, due to an Ebola virus outbreak. The Pernix decision should put government contractors on notice that, depending on applicable contract language, federal contractors may be entitled to schedule relief, but not costs, as contractors deal with COVID-19 related impacts.
Continue Reading CBCA Offers Potential Insight Into How Board Will Handle Claims Related to COVID-19

United States Army Corps of Engineers v. John C. Grimberg Co., Inc., No. 2019-1608, 2020 BL 215269 (Fed. Cir. June 9, 2020)

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a decision by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (“Board”), which had found in favor of a contractor on a Type I differing site condition claim. The Board had held that, even though the contractor’s interpretation of the contract documents was unreasonable, it was more reasonable than the government’s. The Federal Circuit reversed, holding, as a matter of law, that the contractor’s unreasonable interpretation of the contract documents barred its claim.
Continue Reading Federal Court Holds the Reasonableness of the Government’s Interpretation of Geotechnical Data is Irrelevant to Differing Site Condition Claim

Ellett Constr. Co., Inc. v. United States,
93 F.3d 1537, U.S. App. LEXIS, August 26, 1996
A settlement proposal in response to a termination for the convenience of the Government is a non-routine claim subject to the jurisdiction of the courts pursuant to the Contracts Disputes Act, provided that the settlement proposal ripens into a claim after negotiations have reached an impasse.

Continue Reading Federal Circuit Court Of Appeals Addresses Definition of "Claim" Under The Contract Disputes Act